Latin America wins big at 72nd Venice Film Festival

Sat Sep 12, 2015 5:06pm EDT
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By Michael Roddy

VENICE (Reuters) - Films from Latin America won two of the top prizes at the 72nd Venice Film Festival on Saturday, with Venezuelan director Lorenzo Vigas getting the Golden Lion best film award for "Desde Alla" (From Afar).

Vigas, who won for his first feature film, about a murky homosexual affair between a tough street hustler and a man who has a successful business making dentures, dedicated his award to his country.

"This is a bit of a surprise but I know it's going to be very well received in the country where we've had some problems in the last years ... I hope it is going to help," Vigas said as he accepted the Golden Lion on the stage of the main festival cinema.

He added that he hoped his film's victory might be a clarion call for greater cooperation among the region's filmmakers. "I think that this is something we should do in South America," he said.

Best director award went to Argentina's Pablo Trapero for "El Clan" (The Clan), about the real-life Puccio family of kidnappers who operated in Buenos Aires during the 1980s.

The runner-up Grand Jury prize went to American director Charlie Kaufman and co-director Duke Johnson for stop-motion animation "Anomalisa", which uses puppets instead of drawings.

Kaufman, whose last movie was the live action "Synecdoche, New York" in 2008, said he was pleased that an animated feature had won recognition in Venice.

"It's basically stop motion animation but it's not a kids' movie," said Kaufman, whose film co-directed with Duke Johnson features a puppet sex scene.   Continued...

Director Lorenzo Vigas holds the Golden Lion prize for his movie "Desde Alla" (From Afar) during the award ceremony at the 72nd Venice Film Festival, northern Italy September 12, 2015. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini